8600: Beautiful Butuan

Baguio was a random escape from stress. Spelunking in Samboan was to explore. Glaring at the majestic Ruins of Bacolod introduced me to ancient architecture. I travel to: escape, explore and learn. Recently, I found another reason to travel - to be grounded back to my roots. I lived life with one mantra: If you do not flourish, move. And I did, I moved out from home started my life independently in Cebu. Uprooted, and like a pin on a map, I am now in Southern Luzon. We can establish that I have a penchant for the unknown and the unchartered.

Unbeknownst to some, I hail from Butuan City. Bounded to the north, west and south by Agusan Del Norte and to the east by Agusan Del Sur. Being a highly urbanized city, there is a wide range of accommodations to choose from while in Butuan, as it is also considered the regional center of Caraga. Yes, I hail from Mindanao. But born in Luzon, with a heart of gold and a taste for adventure. Butuan - known for its palagsing, Golden Tara, quality timber and of course everyone’s favorite hotcake from the local market. Butuan - a place all too familiar amidst all the recent development.
Traveling back to my roots used to be a full night boat ride until flights down south were made available. Frequency has increased and I am happy to know that I can be back home after a good hour's shut eye. Being an urbanized city there is a wide range of accommodations to choose from.

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To travel, be it local or international also involves educating your tongue. Sweet tooth? We have Margie’sKitchen, an instant hit! Give in to the sinful indulgence of Cookie Monster Chocolate Cake or Nelusco. Fine, three slices at most. Want to get something savory and filling? Demand for their Basil Fries and Black Olive + Tuyo Pasta. Cool ambiance, warm vibes and amazing music playlist specially handpicked by Marc Calo. Fresh? Seafoods abound wherever you go. Fish head soup, Tuna Sashimi and Tuna Ceviche available at Baron’s Restaurant, which is a Smoking Emission Testing Center the morning and grilling haven at night. Or head out to Langihan Market to have fishmongers make you fresh tuna ceviche/kinilaw upfront. Home cooked meals? Make your way to either Weegols Garden, our go to place for any celebration. Chicken inasal worth eating with your bare hands and sipping every bit of that halo-halo juice from freshly picked coconut head. If roasted chicken is not your thing, how about checking Lutong Bahay ni Aling Cora for the usual mom's flair of cooking.

Unbelievably, Butuan was the center of the Gold trade back to 1001 CE. It was known for mining gold, creation of gold products and with its extensive trade network across Indonesia, branching out to ancient civilizations as far away as Japan, China, India, Persia and Cambodia. Gold, spices, food and trade items were boarded on wooden watercrafts called balangays. Balangays were used as a means of transportation, and with its massive size it played an integral role in the trade and commerce. Three out of nine balangays are currently being preserved by the National Museum. The first balangay or Butuan Boat One was said to date back to 320 CE and is in the Maritime Hall in the National Museum.

The word barangay, which is the smallest unit of political division in the Philippines originated from the word balangay.

Abounding with verdant valleys and towering trees, Butuan does not end at its historical mark. Adventures like the longest zipline in Asia, about 1.3 kilometers long for thrill seekers at heart, at Delta Discovery Park in Bonbon. If you are a night owl, you can hang out at Boy's Bar & Wine Room for some cold beer or sing your heart out at Wat Ever Family KTV. After all the fun and games, a good night’s sleep is necessary. Never neglect proper rest and relaxation! Traveling doesn’t only mean going to tons of places, it also means making the best of your time and sleep is important. There are hundreds of accommodation within the city. Within the city – a wide array of pension houses, mid-class hostels and of course quality hotels to fit your price range. Looking for the best offers is made easier with online apps and online booking services. Once you have settled in, then we can wrap up for the day and face the following day’s itinerary.

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Never leave any place without memories to keep. Be it in a form of photos or souvenirs which are readily available at Madyaw Kadyaw. Take an orange motorcycle magnet for your growing magnet collection, or better yet, start one! Butuan is known for this unified colored common form of transportation. When you look down from your window seat going back to your next destination, think of Butuan as your old friend. Always remembered and never forgotten.

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